According to Leiden lecturer Wim Voermans, it is not possible to legally implement mandatory face masks, as it is against the constitution.
Today, certain municipalities expressed in the Security Council today that they would like to conduct experiments to see how to limit the virus, such as making face masks mandatory in busy areas.
However, Wim Voermans told RTL Nieuws that it’s simply not possible to do that. The Constitution forbids such measures, as he explained in state council back in May. “You cannot limit fundamental rights such as Article 10 – the right to respect for privacy – and Article 11 – the right to inviolability of the body – through an emergency ordinance. You can only do that through a parliamentary law.”
How come masks are allowed in public transport then? The reason is due to the Passenger Transport Act. Among other things, it requires that passengers must follow the instruction of the transport company when it comes to safety and order.
An option is for the parliament to pass a law. “Making personal protective equipment (such as mouth masks) compulsory in public spaces is only possible through a parliamentary law because of these fundamental aspects. A lower regulator like the city council can never do this.”
The other alternative is for the Netherlands to declare a state of emergency, as in other countries. “This way you can set aside the right to privacy. But the government apparently thinks that is going too far.”
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